There is a saying that ‘sleep medicine’, but for many people, deep and fast sleep is a very difficult task. There are many factors that interfere with a healthy sleep routine, such as frequent use of electronic devices and a stressful environment. Lack of sleep is directly linked to long-term health conditions, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and dementia. A recent study found that even a lack of sleep for just one day could harm your health in the short term. It has also been found that people who can’t sleep well are more prone to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. How much sleep do you need to get out of sleep deprivation?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for the average adult. However, experts say that the optimal amount of sleep varies with age. Raj Dasgupta, a professor of sleep medicine at the University of Southern California, recently told CNN, “In general, the ‘sweet spot’, which refers to the period during which a person can fall asleep the most, is 7 to 9 hours, but the need for sleep varies from person to person. There is no need to be obsessed with this time.” Stanford University professor of psychiatry Christina Cheek also emphasized that “sleep needs vary according to lifespan, so it is better to follow a changed sleep pattern.”
What is the most appropriate amount of sleep for each age group?
Scholars have different opinions on the optimal sleep time. The most commonly used sleep time standard is the sleep time by age group suggested by the American Sleep Foundation. The Sleep Foundation annually announces recommended sleep times for each age group by asking opinions from experts in a wide range of fields such as anatomy, physiology, neurology, and gerontology. According to this standard,
- Newborns aged 0-3 months are 14-17 hours,
- Infants 4-11 months old are 12-15 hours,
- Infants 1-2 years old are 11-14 hours,
- 3-5 years old kindergarteners are 10-13 hours. ,
- 6~13 years old elementary school students 9~11 hours,
- 14~17 years old middle school students 8~10 hours,
- 18~25 years old high school/university students 7~9 hours,
- 26~64 years old adults 7~9 hours,
- 65 years old Older people over 7-8 hours. The recommended sleep time is the total sleep time including naps.”Young adults aged 18 to 25 may need at least 9 hours of sleep on a regular basis because their brains are still developing,” said Professor Cheek. You have to sleep,” he said.The quality of sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep when it comes to healthy sleep habits. Sleeping deeply and reaching the stage of rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is beneficial for cognition, memory, and productivity. REM is the stage of sleep where memories are consolidated and stored. If you get enough sleep but still feel tired, it may be because you have not reached this stage of sleep. The following is a method to improve sleep quality introduced by CNN by combining expert opinions.
1. Keep your bedtime
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you write a ‘sleep diary’ and record your daily sleep time and sleep state, it is easy to know what is effective for your sleep. I like to sleep in a dark, cool, comfortable room.
2. Turn off electronic devices
An environment with easy access to electronic devices and sleep disturbance caused by the presence of electronic devices can affect our body’s sleep-wake cycle. Therefore, it is good to do work through electronic devices as much as possible before going to sleep. To fall asleep early, it is better to be exposed to more natural light than artificial light from electronic devices. Electronic devices mimic many of the wavelengths of sunlight, causing the body to stay awake.
3. Try Meditation
Breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga are also known to help you fall asleep easily. Cheek’s study found that meditation training helped children get more than an hour of sleep per night.
4. Good food and exercise habits are essential
Eating healthy food and maintaining a healthy body through daily exercise is the know-how to get a good night’s sleep. Professor Dasgupta emphasized making exercise a habit, saying, “Try to exercise all the time during the bright day.”